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Dept. of Family, Who, and More

Dreaming after "Hell Bent"

I had an odd night of broken sleep and unusual dreams. I know that much of what I dreamed was generated by Hell Bent, which is unusual to begin with, because I was initially left extremely unimpressed with the episode. You'd think that being unimpressed with a television episode would leave one unmarked by it. That didn't seem to be the case. That might be because my subconscious was more impressed with the episode than my conscious. It might be that it was a better episode than I initially thought it was. I know that I woke up a couple of times last night thinking, "Man, that was a weak episode," only to go back to dreams that were connected to either its plot or its themes. 

I want to write something up very soon about Hell Bent, and about Heaven Sent (which was really extremely good), and my thoughts on Moffat's writing strengths and weaknesses. Twenty-four hours or so after I  watched Hell Bent, and after I've read two reviews of it, I'm more willing to give it a chance. It is built of a multitude of remarkable, and remarkably good, bits. The acting is, as usual this series, just stellar. But I'm still frustrated as all get out at the poor pacing (as BB said; they could have jettisoned "Sleep No More" and turned the two-parter into a three-parter and made it far more organically satisfying), the over-stuffing of ideas into too small a conceptual space, the dropped threads, and weak plot turns . I definitely want to learn to like this better, because this has been a fantastically strong season. I want to like it, because I normally love Moffat. But in this episode, I'm seeing what I think of as his weaknesses more than I'm seeing what I think of as his strengths. 

More, anon, but for now - dream things!

I woke up twice from dreams that somehow had me on Gallifrey, as a Time Lord/Lady of sorts, trying to pack to leave Gallifrey in advance of its pending destruction. In both dreams, I was having difficulty deciding what to take, difficulty compounded by the continual shrinkage of my bags. I'd think I had chosen a bag that was large enough to take things, and discover that the bag was (of course) smaller on the inside. The ambiance of the dream also appeared to be that I was packing not only for myself, but attempting to pack up various important cultural artifacts in order to prevent Gallifreyan culture from disappearing forever. At least one of those dreams also had me worrying about what would happen to the Shobogans, and trying to give them some last minute advice about who they should talk to be treated well (dream logic ignoring the fact that Gallifrey is supposed to be destroyed, obviously.)

The next dream had me working as part of a behind-the-scenes political team, and not liking it at all. I think I was supposed to be a speech writer, and part of the ambiance of the dream was me thinking "Everyone out of the loop thinks I'm really important here, and plugged-in. But I'm in the loop, and I know how much I'm not in the loop at all."  More importantly, I was thinking about how rotten the deal that my speech was supposed to be lauding actually was, and how awful the person was who would be giving the speech. It was a combination of feeling very important, feeling completely unimportant, and not liking being in the situation at all.  The one thing that stands out about this dream was that I caught a glimpse of my mother in it. 

The final dream seemed to proceed from that glimpse. I was back in the old bedroom that I used to share with my mother when I was growing up. She was there, and I was very pleased, because she was actually dead, and I knew that, but apparently she was able to be alive because of ... something - do you see where Hell Bent comes in? I was happy that she was there, and it was really great to talk to her. I remember that she had to sit on a piece of wood for some reason; it was important that she sit on wood, especially if she was seated over running water ... you know what? I'm just going to stop trying to explain it any further. All I know is that when I woke up I was both happy that I'd been able to talk with her, and very slightly sad that I had to wake up. 

Yes, I know; that was all very exciting for you to read, wasn't it?
This entry was originally posted at http://kaffyr.dreamwidth.org/391774.html?mode=reply, where there are currently comment count unavailable comments. You can comment there or here; I watch both.



( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 7th, 2015 10:44 am (UTC)
Actually, I loved reading this!! It sounds that your unconcious was definitely more titillated than you conscious for sure! Marvelously detailed here...

I'm having rather 'unsure what I'm feeling' feelings about the episode myself. So I get where you are coming from...

Dec. 7th, 2015 10:48 pm (UTC)
I tend, even in my old age, to remember a lot of what I dream about. When I was younger, I dreamed, and remembered dreaming, almost every night. These days, I don't recall every night's dreams, but enough to wind up with something as off-kilter as what I wrote about here.

I want to watch the episode at least once more, and probably twice more before I make up my mind about it. But as lj user=promethia_tenk> said elsewhere, this may be a case of an episode making great meta, but bad TV. We'll see.
Dec. 7th, 2015 04:43 pm (UTC)
:::hums "Dreaming in Metaphors":::
Dec. 7th, 2015 11:33 pm (UTC)
Aha - I had to go looking for this song. I keep forgetting that I actually really like Seal whenever I hear him.
Dec. 7th, 2015 06:37 pm (UTC)
Dreams are just weird, I think. *hugs*
Dec. 7th, 2015 11:24 pm (UTC)
Aren't they, just?

*hugs back*
Dec. 8th, 2015 05:44 am (UTC)
Sounds like REALLY interesting dreams! You should use the plot bunnies or let me.
Dec. 8th, 2015 09:09 pm (UTC)
Heh - go on, feel free to use any plot bunnies that you see hopping out of my dreams; I'd be tickled to see them put to good use!
Dec. 8th, 2015 01:57 pm (UTC)
I enjoyed the story, but my response overall was of bemusement. I got the feeling that the production team had said, “In NuWho, all companions must have an angsty forced departure. But – we don’t want to do that to Clara! So we’ll do this instead…” Given that Clara was ultimately fine with adventuring without the Doctor, it seems that they could have skipped her death as a way of getting her to leave him, and just decide for herself that they were bad for each other and she could have adventures without him.

Really, I think its time for forced leavings on the part of companions to be dropped. In Classic Who, many companions left the Doctor by their own will, whether because they’d found something they really wanted to do, or because they’d been trying to get home all along. I find it hard to believe that this couldn’t be done credibly in NuWho, but the current showrunners seem to think that only angst will keep people watching a companion departure.

Diona the Lurker
Dec. 8th, 2015 09:11 pm (UTC)
Given that Clara was ultimately fine with adventuring without the Doctor, it seems that they could have skipped her death as a way of getting her to leave him, and just decide for herself that they were bad for each other and she could have adventures without him.

I agree with you so very much. I would have loved that; considering that, as someone mentioned, the last time anyone left without much angst was Mel, leaving the Seventh Doctor to go adventure with Glitz, and that was almost 30 years ago!
Dec. 9th, 2015 12:29 pm (UTC)
Does that include expanded universe stuff? Either way, yikes! :(

Am I the only one worrying beforehand what horrible fate the next companion's going to meet with? Something's wrong when the main point of interest is how meeting the Doctor will screw up your life...

Diona the Lurker
Dec. 12th, 2015 06:09 pm (UTC)
Sorry for the late answer. Life has been beyond crazy, stealing my spoons with wicked glee. I am hoping that the next companion will be able to leave with no angst. Really, I think Moffat can do that for us!
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )

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